Breaking the Routine

This was an interesting weekend for me that has to result in minor changes.  Whenever people tell me they are changing I always roll my eyes because talk is cheap so I would expect you to do the same.  What happened this weekend that made me come to this realization?  I traveled a spectrum of activity from where I am to where people go.

gambling-addictionWithout being vague, I saw my typical gambling /  drinking weekend turn to what I expected from it.  A lighter wallet, an ill feeling from partying, and a general questioning of what the hell I’m doing time after time.  I’m no spring chicken anymore and I’d say 85% of these weekends result in this sinking feeling.

classic-colonial-50s-homeOn the other hand, I spent my Sunday at a gathering at a person’s house who I respect more with each encounter.  He’s charitable, genuine, and is all about the right behavior.  His life has lead to a gorgeous home in a secluded area and it’s something to marvel at.  It basically made me think that this is an ideal way to end up.

Following this I met with old friends who are married and advancing life in a more conventional approach than the life I lead.  I’m not saying right from wrong but there are destructive vs constructive activities and I think it’s easy to note which ones I partake in.

With those experiences, I woke up this morning and realized I had to change things up because I was stuck in a routine.  A brief change list in bullet format.

  • Instead of going to Dunkin Donuts today, I went to the restaurant across the street.  I ordered a ham and cheese omelette and sat quietly by myself while I chowed down the food.   This cost me $8.86 which differs from the $4.86 at Dunkin but the routine break was worth the 4 dollars.
  • calvinfbI’m going to start reading the WSJ again.  It’s been a while since I’ve had any interest in the financial markets mainly because it’s stressful and difficult to beat.  I believe we are seeing some sort of a bubble again and this could be the perfect time to short the market.  Specifically, Facebook at $75 (100 P/E) is overvalued and feels like a 50 dollar stock to me.  Reading the journal helps you time this better.
  • No more Candy Crush.  This isn’t a big lifestyle change because I only play it while I’m watching TV but losing this is a must.  Complete waste of time.  I also got a new phone and it didn’t save my levels so this makes this was a sign to quit.  I got to 220 or something just in case Sam was wondering.
  • american_goldfinch_glamour12Start reading again.  Laura recommended the Goldfinch so I’ll read that.  I finished all my TV (Fargo, Orange is the New Black) and it’s time to start thinking by reading again instead of thinking visually.
  • Join some groups or classes.  I’m tired of writing that I’m going to learn German or Photoshop.  I’ve made some effort but I’d give myself D’s in both areas.  These are constructive activities.  Maybe I’ll join a running group as well.

So there’s a quick breakdown of what’s going through my brain.  Like I wrote earlier, it’s easy to write about changing but actually doing it is another story.  I’ll keep the blog filled with updates and other posts as typically done over the years.

I also should add that after reading Gourlay’s post about needles and his severe dislike, mine are snakes.  The word sneak is in snake.  Enough said.

 

Chipotle Reaction

I know I’ve been doing a lot of re-blogging lately but some things are too funny not to share. MRW = my reaction when.

MRW I get to Chipotle during dinner rush after placing an online order
vincemcmahon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MRW when I walk into Chipotle during dinner rush without placing an online order
vincemcmahonbackwards

I normally don’t need confirmation when I think something is funny but I was cracking up to this.

Diving Board Wimp Out

I thought this video was great. I give this a solid 9.5 in degree of difficulty and a 10 in execution. There are probably some other scores that go along with diving but this rivals the triple lindy. Show me one person who can gracefully swing to the board below as this girl did. I try to get Jeff to write some stories from time to time and I’d like to read about his high board incident and also his biking incident where he got clothes lined. I did grab this from Barstool by the way.

The Triple Lindy

An 11 Hour Sleep

Old age hit quick. I don’t even know where to begin. This weekend was a surprise party for Big Steve in Atlantic City. Sam and I drove up and got to Revel at around 3pm. We started drinking, surprised Steve, had some dinner, and then went out to the club. I have blurred lines of going out but I woke up in a different room sleeping in a chair which was unusual but everything seemed fine.

RevelOn Saturday morning I didn’t have any money and the ATM wasn’t accepting my card because of the magnetic strip. I left Revel at 9am and starting walking the Boardwalk in search of an ATM that accepted my card. I found one about 15 minutes away and I was back in business. I met up with the McGrath’s and started pre-gaming for the pool which was the plan from the get-go. Eating no food up to this point, I had a feeling that I wasn’t planning well for the afternoon and evening. I bought a 30 dollar drink and enjoyed the pool activities for a while. I napped and then lost a few more dollars before ending up in the room that I belonged in. At that point it was about 9pm and my life force was sapped. I decided that I couldn’t hang out for the night and I drove home.  Before people start jumping to conclusions about my sobriety, I hadn’t had a drink for 6 hours so it was safe.

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Although many factors contributed to me leaving, the main one was that if I partied for one more night, I would be putting myself in the face of danger. I hadn’t eaten properly. I had already lost money gambling and lord only knows what else could happen. It would have been toeing the line and I made a choice that although probably looked at as bizarre, made a lot of sense at the time. Perhaps this is maturing but it’s also getting beat down and quitting.

This is what a baby looks like.

This is what a baby looks like.

I was up early on Sunday and met up with the AOR crew and reminisced about past times. I then hung out with CK4 and Nikkii drinking a few beers and living the suburban life for a minute. JKash and Amber brought little, baby Jordan and we watched him for a while before checking out CK4′s new house a few miles away. As I departed the group, I was incredibly tired and had to go to sleep. I showered and fell asleep at 8pm.

I woke this morning a bit before 7am and still am not loving life. I used to be able to go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night and not feel the repercussions. I’ve dwindled down to a night and a half and then I’m toast.  Some day I may wise up and quit this cycle but until then, these posts will continue to sum up mistakes.

Art Museum Step Challenge

Art Museum StepsThis is an open challenge against me to anyone who wants to give it a try.

Location:
Art Museum Steps

Objective:
Start at the 1st logical line back (there is the actual first line but it’s too close to the first step to make it possible). This line acts as the start line and the suicide line. The challenge is 3 times up and down the steps touching the start line and the top step with each suicide. The end of the steps is the top flight of steps without heading into the open area at the top.

Time to Beat: 1:45:16

I’m confident in this time because technique is extremely important in this challenge and I think I’ve nailed it.

The Many Ways of Really

I’ve gotten annoyed with the word “really”.  95% of the times the response to a “really” quesiton is yes.  If you have a friend who makes you say really because you don’t believe what they say, and they respond with no more often than not, find a new friend.

The word really has the root word real in there which makes a lot of sense.  By asking really as a question, you are asking, “did that happen for real?”  I don’t know about any of you but almost everything I do is real.

The key to the really is the inflection in the voice as pointed out to me by Brookes.  Here is a really breakdown:

A Whirlwind of Spending Money

The amount of money I spent today registers as a top 10 in my life. Days like these are unavoidable and I always leave them feeling poorer because I am. I’m not an expert negotiator but I also would like to think that I don’t get taken advantage of either. I want to share my experience so you can see what goes through my head and the results I obtain in these particular situations.

 

Negotiating With Verizon

galaxy4I’m Verizon’s dream customer if I played by their rules and regulations.  I break or lose my phone within the 2 year contract every single time.  If you aren’t familar with how the system works, Verizon will sell you a phone at an upgrade price every 2 years.  If your phone doesn’t last until the upgrade period, they try to charge you full retail price which is about $500 dollars for outdated phones.

I’m 11 months into my 2 year contract and have 2 cracks that cover about 1/3 of the screen.  This is unacceptable to me and I’m not going to pay $500 dollars for a new phone.  Even though Evan says that the Iphone is the best phone on the market, I’m not an Apple guy and find the Samsung Galaxy’s able to fit all my needs.  I currently have the Galaxy 3 and have been pretty happy.

verizon-fuAT&T will give a Galaxy 4 free to a new customer.  This is my starting point in negotiating and what I want.  On Saturday, I called the retention department and the rep wouldn’t budge on getting me a new phone.  He said I was threatening him and that a Galaxy costs $500 and the only way Verizon makes money is by customers playing out their contracts (this company made 11 billion last year FYI).  We weren’t getting anywhere so I tried again with another rep on Monday.  The next rep said I could purchase another line, turn my current line into a minimum charge and then get a Galaxy 4 for $100 on the other line.  What the hell am I going to do with 2 lines?  This once again wasn’t leading anywhere and we were unable to come up with a solution.

Today I called At&t and was prepared to make the switch if I couldn’t get anywhere with Verizon.  They offered a plan that was 1 gb of data, unlimited call and text for $60 dollars a month and I would get a new Galaxy 4 for nothing.  I was ready to drop Verizon, incur about 200 dollars of termination charges (which I wasn’t going to pay and take a hit on my credit score), and swap to At&t.  I called Verizon and asked for retention and got a rep who heard my position and wanted to help me out.  I explained what I was prepared to do, he talked to his manager and got me an upgraded price of a Galaxy 4 for $150 dollars with a $50 dollar rebate.

This was a minor victory for me because of my consistent disregard for any contract I sign with Verizon.  Verizon offers insurance on the phone for $10 dollars a month.  Hypothetically if I took insurance for the 11 months I owned the phone, and then paid the $99 deductible to get a new Galaxy 3,  I’d be down 100 bucks and have a lesser phone.  What I did was obviously a better play.  Now if I was Ck4, I probably would have gotten the newest Iphone, Google Glass, a new Playstation 4, and a lifetime supply of Coors Light but I can only ask for so much.

 

Buying my Acura 2012 TL

2012_acura_tlI’ve leased a car for 9 years.  At the end of every lease I turn my car in and get a new one.  For my 3rd vehicle I said enough is enough.  Acura had no TL’s to test drive and my TL was better than the 2014 TSX I tested.  I had made 35 of my 36 payments and decided to purchase the car.

I walked into the dealership already filling out the credit app previously and we went through the basic paper work.  The salesman gave the paperwork to his boss and told me he was with another customer and he would get to me shortly.    I sat there for 45 minutes which was making me quite unhappy.

4xhpjwxAfter being in the dealership for 80 minutes from start to finish, I went into the room with the big boss.  I’ve been through the process before of running through paperwork and I wanted to make sure all the numbers were clear as day.  My credit score is above 800, even though I have no money, so I was approved of a loan at 2.5%. With some basic research on the web, this rate seemed competitive.

The buy out of the vehicle was $23,500.  Optional expenses include a warranty and GAP insurance, and mandatory expenses were sales tax as well as some menial registration fees that total about 100 bucks.  I went with the 100k warranty for $2,500 and passed on the GAP.  Is $2,500 for a 100k warranty a good deal?  Who the fuck knows.  If the car doesn’t break over the next 4 years it’s a waste of money.  How likely is that to happen?  Who the fuck knows.  I know a transmission will cost more than $2,500.

He runs the papers through some old ass printer and I sign a bunch of papers.  I put $1,700 down to cover some title and tags (at least that’s what I’m told) and this also allowed me to get a 2.5% rate (again who the hell knows).  My payment gets bundled with the warranty and I walk away having a payment that is 30 dollars less than what I’m paying now for the next 5 years.  The blue book on the car is around $21.000 which puts me underwater a couple of k.  For being 6k miles over the allotted 36,000 at the end of the lease ($1,200 cost), I don’t think it’s too bad.

 

New Club Shoes

rockportblackshoesI’ve never purchased a nice pair of shoes.  I’ve had suit and dress shoes but nothing that I felt was “cool” for the club.  After many years of going to clubs, I finally decided to purchase a pair of shoes that will make me feel normal.  To describe the shoes that I used to wear to clubs would be like Dockers that have laces.  They are fine for sales trips and an alternative to sneakers but no one would ever comment, “nice shoes”.

TCI went to the mall and had an idea of what I was looking for.  Black or brown are standard with jeans and I was looking for something with no shoe laces.  I came across the pair pictured for 100 bucks and figured I’d make the investment.  They fit well and looked as normal as I could think normal looks.  I’m not into fashion so I have no idea what brands are popular or what style is in.  All I know is that I’ll be let into the club with these and they look decent with jeans.  It’s worth it to spend money on these types of shoes because you only need 1 pair.  I wish I would have done so 10 years ago.  I’m curious if anyone reads this could point out a better selection.  The purple shirt has never been worn by me before in public.

Phones Should be Banned From Restaurants

I liked this experiment a lot. I can’t stand the phone while people are eating and this is a strong argument against it. 26 out of 45 customers take picture of their food?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me! Group photos?!?! What the fuck is going on here. The phone has a place in our society and it is outside restaurants.

restaurantmeme

Dan Bilzerian on Howard Stern

dan-bilzerian-with-girlDan Bilzerian has over 3.4 million followers on Instagram. He posts pictures of himself with models wearing practically nothing and shooting big guns. The dude is ripped from head to toe and leads a life style that most of us only dream of. He did an interview with Howard Stern for over and hour which gives further insight into his life.

The first thing to understand is that he’s worth about 100 million dollars. He claims most of it was from playing poker and described that he’s not the best but plays in the best games. Meaning that he doesn’t play against pros, but wealthy business men. Howard was out of his element discussing the poker area of Dan’s life. He had some amusing anecdote about Tobey McGuire being a tightwad at the table and making a fuss over 15k. This part of the interview was pretty ho hum.

Dan’s dad was a savvy businessman in the 80′s involved in takeovers and is worth something like $400 million. Without his dad’s background, it’s hard to imagine Dan Bilzarian would have the start needed to be who he is now. He claimed he started playing poker with $100 dollar buy ins so he’s “self made”, but the money was already there.  This was after his Navy Seal days which explains his fascination with guns and hardo mentality.

bilzerianHe’s a dude who can do whatever he wants. He’s chiseled like a statue, does mad drugs (had a heart attack at 25 from taking too much coke, weed, MDMA, and viagra), bangs mad bitches, and has created his own celebrity status through Instagram photos.

Dan BilzerianWhen the interview finished I was pretty indifferent on Dan Bilzerian. I didn’t love him or hate him. He was a normal dude who made a lot of money and now does whatever he wants. His one piece of advice was to set up the situation so you can’t lose. If you are going to a party, set one up that has 300 girls and 50 guys and the results will tip themselves in your favor. This is much easier said when you are sitting on 100 million dollars but it’s a thoughtful viewpoint to win at life.  He was also a fan of not selling out and always being yourself which is commonplace advice.  Interesting guy though because he does whatever he wants.

Hover Hand Here